Deepak on fire at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 4:

Deepak Acharya carded his personal best of 7-under 65 on the first day of the Kailash Tea Open Golf Tournament here at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort today.

Acharya, the Gokarna Forest Golf Resort professional, erased his previous best of six-under while taking a comfortable 6-stroke lead over Mani Rai, who wrapped the first day at one-under 71.

Having shot 6-under in the first six holes including an eagle in the par-4 Hole No 6, Acharya seemed on way to breaking the course record of eight-under set by Surya Nepal Masters 2004 champion Indian pro Shiv Kapur in December last year.

He not only missed a birdie in the par-3 Hole No 13, but ended up with a three-putt for a bogey. He covered the loss in the next hole with a birdie. But his dream of course record were shattered in the Par-5 15th Hole. After a perfect tee off, his second shot went into the water hazard which saw him finishing the hole with a bogey.

“Had I not missed the chances in those two holes, I would have broken the course record today,” said Acharya after disastrous Hole No 15. Acharya started the day with a par, hit birdies in the second, third, fourth and fifth holes and a bogey in the par-3 Hole No 8 for a five-under 31 in the front nine. In the back nine, he had birdies in the 12th, 16th and 18th holes with bogeys on 13th and 15th for a two-under 34.

Second-place holder Mani Rai had birdies in the second, fourth and fifth holes with a single bogey in the ninth hole for a two-under 34 in the front nine. In the back nine, he had bogeys in the par-3 10th and 17th hole with a lone birdie in the 13th hole for one-over 37, and closed the day at one under 71.

Ramesh Nagarkoti finished the day with two-over 74 and was joint third with another GFGR pro Pashupati Sharma. In amateurs’ section, Wanchen Dhondup took the first-day lead with one-over 73, while C B Bhandari and Deepak Thapa Magar finished the day at three-over 75 each for joint second. Krishnaman Shrestha, who carded a four-over 76 was in the third place. In all, 21 golfers — 11 pros and 10 amateurs — are taking part in the four-day event. The winner will be richer by Rs 45,000 while the runner-up will get Rs 23,000.

SCORES: 65 - Deepak Acharya; 71 - Mani Rai; 73 - Wanchen Dhondup; 74 - Ramesh Nagarkoti, Pashupati Sharma; 75 - C B Bhandari, Deepak Thapa Magar; 76 - Sachin Bhattarai; Ravi Khadka, Krishnaman Shrestha; 77 - Sabin Sapkota, Ram Thapa, Surya P Sharma; 78 - Yelamber Adhikari; 80 - Shiva Ram Shrestha; 81 - Rajendra Phuyal; 82 - Deepak Neupane; 87 - Lobsang Tashi; 89 - Tashi Lama, Ram Krishna Shrestha; 99 - T G Shrestha.